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MySQL 5.6 Is A Direct Developer Play

Oracle has announced the arrival of MySQL at its 5.6 version release. The open source database comes with additional developer-specific functionality in the form of subquery optimizations, online Data Definition Language (DDL) operations, NoSQL access to InnoDB, new instrumentation in Performance Schema, and better condition handling.

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The MySQL Community Edition has also improved its linear scalability, and this is hoped (in post deployments terms) to help users take advantage of modern hardware capabilities.

Again directly playing to the developer-programmer audience, Oracle has engineered this release with simplified query development and faster execution, better transactional throughput and application availability, flexible NoSQL access, improved replication, and enhanced instrumentation.

Oracle puts some color into the subquery optimization functionality and says that the new release can simplify query development by optimizing subqueries prior to execution. "New efficiencies in how result sets are selected, sorted, and returned deliver substantial improvement in query execution times," claims the firm.

Oracle vice president of MySQL engineering Tomas Ulin has pointed to enhanced optimizer diagnostics functionality; i.e., EXPLAIN for INSERT, UPDATE, and DELETE operations. EXPLAIN plan output in JSON format delivers more precise optimizer metrics and better readability, and Optimizer Traces tracks the optimizer decision-making process.

InnoDB has been refactored to minimize legacy threading, flushing, and purge mutex contentions and bottlenecks, enabling better concurrency on heavily loaded OLTP systems. "Full-Text Search with InnoDB allows developers to build FULLTEXT indexes on InnoDB tables to represent text-based content and speed up application searches for words and phrases. Flexible NoSQL access to InnoDB provides simple, key-value lookup of InnoDB data via the familiar Memcached API. Users get the 'best of both worlds' combining key-value operations and complex SQL queries in the same database," said Oracle.

This is a lively release from the MySQL team. The list of "interesting new features" reads like a phone book directory of added functionality.

Also in the mix is technology for self-healing replication clusters: the addition of Global Transaction Identifiers and Utilities is intended to make it simple to automatically detect and recover from failures. Crash-Safe Replication enables the binary log and slaves to automatically recover correct positions in the replication stream in case of a crash, and resume replication without administrator intervention. Checksums maintain data integrity across the cluster by automatically detecting and alerting on errors.

The list is extensive and readers can obviously review full spec sheets online. Last but not least is the fact that MySQL 5.6 includes a number of additional enhancements such as Geographic Information Systems — Precise Spatial operations, improved IPv6 compliance, and optimized server defaults.

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